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Too Many DJs.

Andy Robertson

There has been a steady growth in the number of professional DJs over the years helped by advances in technology and the rise of the dance rave culture in the late 80’s. With tens of thousands of DJs earning money to a greater or lesser extent from live performances what chance does a new budding DJ stand in this environment.


Professional DJing is highly attractive with the biggest earners like The Chainsmokers earning about $46 million in 2020 but with only a small percentage ever earning enough to make a living it can be an extremely competitive market for anyone trying to break through to commercial success. Obviously, there are a large number of budding DJ hobbyists happy to keep it just a hobby with perhaps the occasional public performance. For anyone with a natural talent who wants to make a professional career what are the potential routes to success? 

DJ School. 
Most major cities in the UK and the United Sates have DJ schools which provide essential training to improve a DJ’s skills plus they get to work with some of the latest technology. Most DJ schools also provide a route to more professional work through their network of contacts in nightclubs and other live event producers for example.

Networking. 
Having the right contacts is really key to securing the best gigs and can help to generate regular work. Networking should take up a large proportion of a DJs time as the market is dynamic and things change rapidly.

Travelling.
One popular way to secure regular DJ work is to travel either in country or internationally as numerous small pubs and clubs are more open to trying new talent. However, do not expect to get paid much if at all, the competition is fierce and for every available DJ slot there are another 100 equally talented DJs prepared to perform for free.

Despite a natural talent and excellent technical skills some DJs cannot secure paid work because club owners and producers are looking for something special and unique. A new creative take on a genre or producing something a little different will set a DJ aside from other DJs who just pump out the same mixes every week. A DJ that can fill a dancefloor night after night is something that will attract club owners and possibly secure a residency. With about 11k professional DJs in the United States and about 5k in the UK alone the competition for paid work is intense. For any British DJ it’s probably worth checking out organisations like The National Association of Disc Jockeys (NADJ) who provide a host of assistance and resources for professional DJs including knowledge, experience, information and training to its members across their UK branch network.

For organisers planning their live music events using a software management platform like Festival Pro gives them all the functionality they need manage every aspect of their event logistics. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The Festival Pro platform is easy to use and has comprehensive features with specific modules for managing artists, contractors, venues/stages, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, guestlists, ticketing, cashless payments and contactless ordering.

Photo by Gaby Tenda from Pexels

Andy Robertson
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